Clare Lindop Jockey Of The Month March 2016
Jockey Of The Month - Clare Lindop
We're delighted to profile Clare Lindop as our BetsFree Jockey of the Month for March 2016. After moving to Adelaide’s Morphettville Racecourse to complete her apprenticeship, Clare has since claimed two SA Metropolitan Jockey Premierships, three Group 1 races and has ridden over 700 winners in Australia and abroad. Photo Clare Receiving The Inaugural John Letts Award in 2011 - by Terry Hahn of Atkins Photography
On November 1, 2008 Clare steered Rebel Raider to victory in the Victoria Derby. Five years earlier her life had changed forever when she drew attention for becoming the first Australian female to ride in the Melbourne Cup on Debben for Leon Macdonald; a race she has now ridden in 3 times.
What inspired you to become a jockey?
Because I'm short. I don't come from a horse family, I learnt to ride at 10 years old at a local pony trail riding farm.
I had my own pony, Annie who was a superstar and we competed at the local events. I started working in a racing stable at 14 years old, and before I knew it I was leaving school at 15 to start an apprenticeship. I just love horses. I think possibly strapping at my first official Warrnambool May Races definitely I was bitten by the bug then.
What are the 3 highlights of your career so far?
So many to just choose 3! I've ridden 4 Group 1 winners, all very special, (Adelaide Cup 2006, Exalted Time, Rebel Raider 2008 VRC Derby and 2009 SAJC Derby and 2009 Lone Rock in the Goodwood) I would have to say the VRC Derby on Rebel Raider in 2008 is the standout. Being lucky enough to ride in the Melbourne Cup 3 times especially the first time 2003, becoming the first Australian female to ride in the Cup. Riding to 5th on Dophin Jo in 2007 and riding for Bart Cummings, on Moatise in 2009. Winning the Metropolitan Premiership in Adelaide 3 times - the first time in 2005. Also winning the Magic Millions in the Gold Coast, on Augusta Proud in 2008.
Which are your favourite horses to ride?
My last winner! I have had quite a few favourites over the years, obviously Rebel Raider, El Maze, a regular winner from Leon, retired in 2009, also Star of Brooklyn, a beautiful grey horse with a great character, I rode 10 wins on him, still my record on one horse. Currently in the stables, I would have to say I have a few nice horses I get to ride- Counter Pulse who is running this Saturday at Morphettville. As well as other stable favourites like Pepper The Pin.
Photo: Clare winning on El Maze in 2007 - by Lyndelle Connor
Do you ever worry about the risks inherent in your work?
Unfortunately falls are part of the game. I think that it must be the same in any high risk job, we are well trained and work hard. Although we have all been touched by the tragedy of someone close to us having a bad accident, its really not something you think about. We do our job and do it well.
What do you like doing in your downtime?
I enjoy walking my dogs at the beach, pottering around in my house and garden. Also love to get out to nice restaurants with my partner when I can have a big meal.
What is most challenging about what you do?
When you are having a quiet run, maintaining the confidence. Or having to choose which horse to ride between a couple of nice horses. I really don't like to let people down, and trying to pick the right horses is sometimes not just about the immediate race, it can be about the future relationship which is sometimes hard to swallow if you're not on the immediate winner! I do believe in loyalty though.
What's most rewarding about your work?
Definitely when you have been part of a horse's success! I love to ride a horse, and then with a few suggestions, or a few tweaks we go out for the next race and win! Or when a plan put together pays off, a young horse who I have ridden from the first gallop through to his/her trials and then to see them develop into racehorses and winning on the big stage! Fantastic! I do get a sense of pride for sure.
What advice would you offer someone considering this career?
You really have to be prepared to work hard and be strong. And a love for the horses!
What's a common misconception people have about what you do?
A lot of people have no idea how much work there is behind the scenes. Jockeys ride track work nearly everyday, and race here in Adelaide about 3-4 times a week as well as other commitments such as trials and jump outs.
What are your dreams for the future?
Currently, I would love to have some success during the Adelaide Cup Carnival, beginning this weekend and our good races through to May. I am hoping to ride another Group 1 winner - or even a couple! Leon Macdonald and Andrew Gluya's stable also has some nice 2 year olds progressing again, so maybe to take part in the Melbourne Spring Carnival again would be a genuine goal.
If you weren't working as a jockey, what do you imagine you might be doing?
Tough question as I left school so young. I love animals, and working outdoors. I do really enjoy gardening now, and possibly landscaping or if I was smart enough design.
Are you superstitious? Does the name of the horse affect your performance?
I don't have any superstitions. And no - the name of the horse is not important. Although I do enjoy reading a name which the owners have had some fun with, taking something from the the Dam side and the Stallion side and mixing it up.
Do you have your own horse and what is her name?
No horses - maybe once I stop racing professionally I might have a horse to ride in my leisure time again.
Some parting words for your fans?
Pressure makes diamonds.